Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here]. Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
July 25, 2017, 09:52:54 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Bradford on Avon - past, present, future  (Read 2426 times)
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 17205



View Profile WWW Email
« on: February 03, 2007, 10:08:19 AM »

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the opening of Bradford-on-Avon station - a town about half the size of Melksham which is situated on the main Portsmouth to Cardiff line about 6 miles away, and is served by a service that's hourly or somewhat more frequent thoughout the day, and has a bustling ridership.

During the day, a plaque was involved at the station and whilst it would have been fun to go, I had a three way clash and that came in third on the basis that my presence would have been purely selfish.  But no such clash in the eveing and I was looking forward to hearing Colin Maggs, MBE, talking on the importance of rail travel at 19:30. Imagine our surprise to walk in a few minutes ahead of that time to find a large, crowded room (circa 200 people?) watching a slide show.   And we quietly sneaked in (difficult - door at front of room) and found one of the few spare pews.

Someone (or sometwo to be accurate) had put in a great deal of time over many years taking all those pictures of trains - many very rare workings indeed that they must have awaited for hours.  And the picture quality was high, the setting magnificent - from Bradford South Junction at the South East end of the "patch" up to Limpley Stoke at the North West, with Bradford, Avoncliff and Freshford in between.   I enjoyed reminders of the "Cromptons (Class 33), the Brush 47s; I saw with a tingle of sadness some of the old southern diesel electic units being towed away for scrap along the line, and I was delighted to see the resplentant Hastings-gauge unit in smart green on its first run in preservation.   I was shocked to hear of some past inefficiencies, such as the Monday Only (MO) train from Cardiff to Westbury ... after which the coaches sat in the siding at Westbury until they were next needed ... which was Friday.

It's good to celebrate the past. But two things struck me.

1. We were there to celebrate the station and the railway line.   Pictures of the station - a beautiful building that's the last remaining "classic" Victorian station in the area - were conspicuous by their absence.

2. There was nothing looking forward. Here we are in the midst of a major shakeup, with current passengers from Bradford-on-Avon being sardined to work, fewer trains, skyrocketed fares - the pendulum has swung from the laxness of the set used once a week right across to the opposite extreme and no-one was talking about it.   It was as if the present and future didn't exist - "We used to have these 143 units occasonally" said the commentator, telling of the discomfort and rough ride.  Do you know what, dear commentator, You've got them again now ... and you don't even acknwoledge that or any future

An interval, to be followed by a railwayana auction ("selling off the familiy jewels"), and I would like to thank the chairman of the West Wilts Rail User Group who organised the evening for letting me address the meeting for a couple of minutes - pointing them at the petition and giving a couple of thoughts for the future for both B-o-A (for it was their evening) and the TransWilts line via Melksham. Alas, mostly dead ears from people for whom the past hold much more that the future, but a sprinkling of interest and , bless them, encouragement afterwards from a handful.

Colin Maggs - remember him, the guy who was to talk on the importance of rail travel, was indisposed at the last minute. A fascinating lecture, illustrated, on Marc and Ismbard Kingdon Brunel followed. Most of it was a warm comfort of revision for me - fun to watch, listen and see pictures and hear stories that I knew well retold. But cold comfort for the future of rail travel.   "I'm not an anorak" I tell people I get involved with in the train campaign; "I don't really mind whether we have a 153, a 158 or a 170 class train as long as it runs when and where it's required, with comfort and cost considered". And, sadly, the eveing showed just why I sometimes feel the need to take that stance when talking with the railway professionals.

As I said at the end of the two minutes Reg had given me ... "Let's look forward and encourage the provision and use of an appropriate service so that we can be here in another 50 years to celebrate Bradford on Avon stations's 200th Birthday"
Logged

TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
Lee
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5996

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2007, 12:16:08 PM »

I see Glenda Lamont announced improved station facilities on the same day (link below.)
http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=163490&command=displayContent&sourceNode=163316&contentPK=16556134&folderPk=89126&pNodeId=163047
Logged

My wife met the Queen recently, and paid her respects in the traditional way - It was just common curtsey.

Twitter - TransWilts CRP News

Twitter - Trans Wilts CRP Research
Jim
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1186


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 03:55:10 PM »

Personally, I think the 143's are very well suited to the journeys, I have nothing against them, they can get lots of people seated!
Logged

Cheers
Jim Smiley
AG's most famous quote "It'll be better next week"
Lee
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5996

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 05:39:49 PM »

Here is First Great Western's take on this (link below.)
http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/NewsItem.aspx?id=434
Logged

My wife met the Queen recently, and paid her respects in the traditional way - It was just common curtsey.

Twitter - TransWilts CRP News

Twitter - Trans Wilts CRP Research
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 17205



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 06:21:27 PM »

... and  I was delighted to see the resplentant Hastings-gauge unit in smart green on its first run in preservation ...

Nostalgia (including for really old threads!) is a wonderful thing.    Yesterday I got to ride on the Hasting Diesel; I've posted about he line elsewhere - here I'll post on the sight and sound of the old lady.  Reminds me of my childhood ... standing on the platform at Petts Wood or at Sevenoaks and seeing them on the expresses, having an occasional ride when disruption added an Orpington stop.





























Logged

TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants